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  1. #1
    Junior Member wordbird's Avatar
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    Two cyclists killed in Edmonton in last 3 days

    yesterday:

    http://www.canada.com/edmontonjourna...6-f0cff0a7a430


    saturday:
    http://www.canada.com/edmontonjourna...6f0b84&k=38258

    plus a third in Grande Prairie (north of Edmonton):
    http://www.canada.com/edmontonjourna...e65ecd&k=25407

    police suggest excessive (vehicle) speed was a factor in all three incidents.

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I saw a newspaper sitting where I could get at it this morning, and glanced over the most recent article ... just the bit on the front page. That part of the article didn't go into detail about the accident, but I have to wonder something ..... could the cyclists have been at fault too?

    I attend the University in Edmonton, and there are a lot of cyclists who ride to the University. That's nice, but they scare me! They ride on the sidewalks, they ride against the flow of traffic, they don't signal their intentions, the dodge and weave through slow traffic, the ride without helmets, and they often ride clunky things that look like they are going to fall to pieces at any moment. More than once I've had my heart in my mouth as I watched a cyclist ride out in front of a vehicle and the vehicle come to a screeching halt just in the nick of time. And more than once I've almost been knocked off the sidewalks (I walk) by people on bicycles ... it happened again this afternoon.

    I hope the city creates an educational program for both motorists and cyclists on proper driving and cycling techniques.

  3. #3
    Junior Member wordbird's Avatar
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    you're right - we're all trying to co-exist (cyclists/motorists/pedestrians), and as a result, are governed by the same rules as everyone else. (It is worth noting that it's illegal to ride on sidewalks in Alberta - although it's almost never enforced). Unfortunately, it seems in this city, the same bonehead-edness that afflicts a large number of drivers runs equally rampant through many cyclists as well. Personally, I feel the same sense of frustration and outrage when i see a cyclist doing something 'stupid' or illegal as i do when i see a motorist doing the same.

    Honestly, a ton of education and information for cyclists, motorists and pedestrians already exists. Every driver in this province at one time or another has in his/her hands a copy of the Alberta Driver's handbook. it's pretty clearly laid out, things like right-of-way, how stop signs work, crosswalks, etc. Since bicycles are considered vehicles by the province, they are subject to the same set of rules. As someone who's ridden year-round for almost 20 years in this part of the world, i don't know how people survive without using some modicum of safety - i know if i RODE like some people DRIVE, i'd be dead a hundred times over.

    What it comes down to is, in this city (and a lot of other places, too), we have a whole bunch of people driving/cycling around who don't give a rat's ass, for rules or anyone else. cuz it's easier. cuz they're in a hurry. cuz they're too busy talking on the cellphone, or smoking a joint, or whatever. Factor in larger and larger amounts of traffic, road rage, bigger, faster vehicles... and it's getting pretty scary out there.

    Because this IS a cycling forum, and i'll admit to having a cycling bias, the big difference to me is simply this - while I certainly don't condone or encourage the sort of cycling behaviour you described, there's a BIG difference when it comes to the consequences of bad driving vs. bad cycling. As the three fatalities i referenced point out, the cyclists were where they should have been (the crosswalk, in the one case, and along the shoulder in the other two). A pedestrian and a cyclist collide, it's bumps and scrapes and a bit of yelling. a bike/pedestrian and a car collide, it's likely game over for the former.

    The frustrating part as a cyclist is that no matter what i do to protect myself - wear reflective clothing, lights, ride in the suggested lanes/paths, signal, obey all the rules, i can no longer expect the same of my fellow road... occupants. In this city, stop signs seem... optional (why anyone in their right freekin mind would think it was cool to run a stop sign, in a residential neighbourhood, AT NIGHT, is beyond me - but it happens regularly). Stop means 'stop', not roll on thru, or pause halfway thru the intersection. Yield signs, crosswalks, signals - it's the same story. The fundamental stuff is not being enforced any more. As a pedestrian, it's even worse. At least on a bike i might have a fighting chance.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I saw a newspaper sitting where I could get at it this morning, and glanced over the most recent article ... just the bit on the front page. That part of the article didn't go into detail about the accident, but I have to wonder something ..... could the cyclists have been at fault too?

    I attend the University in Edmonton, and there are a lot of cyclists who ride to the University. That's nice, but they scare me! They ride on the sidewalks, they ride against the flow of traffic, they don't signal their intentions, the dodge and weave through slow traffic, the ride without helmets, and they often ride clunky things that look like they are going to fall to pieces at any moment. More than once I've had my heart in my mouth as I watched a cyclist ride out in front of a vehicle and the vehicle come to a screeching halt just in the nick of time. And more than once I've almost been knocked off the sidewalks (I walk) by people on bicycles ... it happened again this afternoon.

    I hope the city creates an educational program for both motorists and cyclists on proper driving and cycling techniques.
    So, let's see. A cyclist dies after being hit by a motorist, the police are sorting through the details, yet to announce a definitive cause, responsibility, or issue any possible charges, and you are wondering if, per chance, the cyclist might not be at fault? I really don't get where you are coming from. A human being died here. Is the sole purpose of the seemingly unending announcements of cycling fatalities simply grist upon which others may graze to satisfy their insatiable appetite for speculative debate? The cyclist died. Show just a little respect and, at least, wait for the details to be released before you start yet another debate.

    Caruso

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carusoswi View Post
    So, let's see. A cyclist dies after being hit by a motorist, the police are sorting through the details, yet to announce a definitive cause, responsibility, or issue any possible charges, and you are wondering if, per chance, the cyclist might not be at fault? I really don't get where you are coming from. A human being died here. Is the sole purpose of the seemingly unending announcements of cycling fatalities simply grist upon which others may graze to satisfy their insatiable appetite for speculative debate? The cyclist died. Show just a little respect and, at least, wait for the details to be released before you start yet another debate.

    Caruso
    I have the utmost respect for the people who died. But here's the thing ... what is the city going to do about it? From my experience it usually takes two similar/related deaths before a governing body here in Canada does anything about the situation ... and we've got two similar/related deaths now.

    As a long distance driver now, I can say that the drivers in Edmonton are generally better than the drivers in central Alberta, but perhaps they need more education with regard to cyclists on the road. At the same time, if the government decides to put some sort of educational program in place for drivers, they desperately need to do the same thing for cyclists. These two cyclists may not have been even remotely at fault, it may have been entirely the drivers' fault, but I have observed literally hundreds of law infractions made by cyclists in the Edmonton area in the two weeks I've been commuting up there.

    It is very, very sad that two people had to die ... but perhaps now the issue of cyclists and motorized traffic will become an important one to the Edmonton government.

  6. #6
    Car(e) Free! koine2002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I have the utmost respect for the people who died. But here's the thing ... what is the city going to do about it? From my experience it usually takes two similar/related deaths before a governing body here in Canada does anything about the situation ... and we've got two similar/related deaths now.

    As a long distance driver now, I can say that the drivers in Edmonton are generally better than the drivers in central Alberta, but perhaps they need more education with regard to cyclists on the road. At the same time, if the government decides to put some sort of educational program in place for drivers, they desperately need to do the same thing for cyclists. These two cyclists may not have been even remotely at fault, it may have been entirely the drivers' fault, but I have observed literally hundreds of law infractions made by cyclists in the Edmonton area in the two weeks I've been commuting up there.

    It is very, very sad that two people had to die ... but perhaps now the issue of cyclists and motorized traffic will become an important one to the Edmonton government.
    It doesn't matter, to some cycling advocates (and I'm a cycling advocate--car free), the cyclist is NEVER at fault--even if he's doing things terribly dangerous as an earlier poster mentioned.
    "There is hardly a man or woman who dares to be just what he or she is without doctoring up the impression." --A.W. Tozer

  7. #7
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    Edmonton is pretty unique when it comes to cycling...

    I ride daily for recreation on the awesome multi-use trails through the river valley. for a recreational cyclist like myself the city is paradise.

    For a bike commuter the city leaves much to be desired. The roads are in worse shape than any other in North America. Anyone on a roadbike must swerve around numerous potholes and put themselves in danger. I've given up my roadbike for a mountainbike and a cyclocross, there are too few good roads to ride.

    The city is also years behind in awareness for bikes and the needs of riders. City buses should yield to cyclists rather than pull up beside them on bike lanes only to pull over to let passengers off (this has happened quite often to me). The Police also should be educated in traffic law, I have previously been cautioned that I must walk my bike though intersections and warned that the road isn't safe for bikes (thought that road safety was your job constable) Absolutely clueless.

    These two deaths are awful, especially the hit and run where the driver of the truck stopped and pulled the damaged bike from under his vehicle before driving off leaving his victim for dead. Perhaps some of this unfortunate publicity can be made an issue in the upcoming civic election. If nothing else civic employees should at least be given some training in how to deal with bikes on the road.

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinook View Post
    For a bike commuter the city leaves much to be desired. The roads are in worse shape than any other in North America. Anyone on a roadbike must swerve around numerous potholes and put themselves in danger. I've given up my roadbike for a mountainbike and a cyclocross, there are too few good roads to ride.
    For driving the roads leave something to be desired, as well!! I have not figured out a route from the south end of town to the University where there is no construction. According to the construction maps the roads are being dug up everywhere in the south end of town, and according to my own experiences, that's true. On my first couple commutes, I sat in construction traffic for over an hour ... just sitting, not going anywhere. I was almost pulling my hair out with frustration (I hate sitting in a stationary, running vehicle), and what I noticed was that as the traffic finally made it through the construction area, they picked up speed and then exceeded the speed limit out of frustration and [I think] a desire to make up lost time. Not only does all that construction create hazardous driving conditions within the construction zone, but also after the construction zone.

    Quote Originally Posted by chinook View Post
    These two deaths are awful, especially the hit and run where the driver of the truck stopped and pulled the damaged bike from under his vehicle before driving off leaving his victim for dead. Perhaps some of this unfortunate publicity can be made an issue in the upcoming civic election. If nothing else civic employees should at least be given some training in how to deal with bikes on the road.
    That hit and run one is shocking!

  9. #9
    aka Sir MaddyX MadCat's Avatar
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    The vehicle suspected to be involved in the hit and run at Stony and Anthony Henday is on the back of one of a deck truck. They found in about 30 minutes west of the city. I have no idea how the police found it (probably a tip). Anyway, I only know this cause I dispatched the deck truck down there to get it. It felt good to know the truck was being hauled away finally. It was a big welding truck none the less.
    Oddly enough I was just cycling on that very route on Saturday. It's a pretty mean area for a cyclist to have to go to get out of the city.
    Cheers

  10. #10
    Senior Member Pig_Chaser's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update MadCat, that's some cool inside information. Should only be a matter of time before they have the driver if they don't already. As an Edmonton commuter i'm pretty interested in the outcome of all three of these incidents. Hopefully they get at least manslaughter.

  11. #11
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wordbird View Post
    As the three fatalities i referenced point out, the cyclists were where they should have been (the crosswalk, in the one case, and along the shoulder in the other two).
    The following is merely a comment on an apparent underlying premise in wordbird's statement above, and is not intended to be a comment on any of the tragic instances referenced in the OP of this thread.

    Folks, we have a LONG way to go in terms of changing cultural perceptions about cyclist rights and appropriate cyclist behavior when a cyclist sufficiently interested in cycling safety and/or advocacy to participate in this forum makes a statement such as the above.

    Whenever a motorist honks at a cyclist in the road he is probably feeling justified by a sentiment similar to the one that underlies wordbird's statement: Where cyclists "should be" is in crosswalks (which implies sidewalks) and on shoulders; in other words, in space that is out of the way of where motorists normally drive. Such a notion is anathema to the interests of bicycling advocacy and safety.

    In contrast, consider the words of John Franklin from his book, Cyclecraft:

    "Motorists primarily give their attention to that part of the highway
    where there is risk to themselves: they are not nearly so good at
    noticing anything outside their path. This zone of maximum
    surveillance is often very narrow, especially at higher speeds -- it
    does not extend to much more than the moving traffic lane that the
    driver is following, plus the moving traffic lanes are most likely to
    conflict with the driver's own movement. For you to be safest as a
    cyclist, you should ride within this zone of maximum surveillance, not
    outside it.
    " (John Franklin, Cyclecraft, 1997, p. 58)

    Note the contrast in notions about where cyclists "should ride" between what wordbird said, and what Franklin says.

  12. #12
    Junior Member wordbird's Avatar
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    Helmet Head: sorry - i can understand why you posted your comments, and the quote from 'Cyclecraft'... i think i could have phrased my comments a little differently.

    the teenager who was killed in the crosswalk - he was IN the crosswalk when he was hit. my point is, that according to the traffic laws in this province, he SHOULD be in the crosswalk. dismount, and walk your bike through the crosswalk. which is exactly what he did, as far as i can tell. the offending motorist did not stop for the kid in the crosswalk, and in fact was speeding.

    you (and the author) are exactly right - there is a... perception as far as where we cyclists should and should not be. what our rights/responsibilities are, and so forth. we've all heard comments and remarks from motorists (while on the road, or in conversations) along the lines of "why don't you ride on the sidewalks?", or "there was an idiot cyclist taking up the whole lane in front of me",or "keep to the far right, assh**e!", or the like. when i ride, i position myself where it's safest and most efficient for me - for example, i try to avoid the extreme inside right-hand lane, unless i'm turning right myself. i try to behave as much as possible like any other vehicle on the road - i'm just skinnier, and slower, with two wheels, not four. if i'm riding in traffic, i go to where i need to be - if i'm turning left, i get in the left hand lane, etc. And really, i think that's how we should 'behave' on the road. And if i'm riding on the highway, surely the shoulder RIGHT BESIDE the lanes of traffic is within the area of 'maximum surveillance'.

    however, the sort of motorist reactions that result from cycling aggressively and confidently (and properly, according to the law) make it pretty clear what THEY think we should be doing.

    i understand why you posted the quote that you did. my intention was not to suggest that a cyclist should simply kowtow to whatever a motorist thinks a cyclist should do.

    Things are further complicated by the fact that there are a ton of people, motorists and cyclists alike, who don't obey the rules. All the lights and reflectors and good safe habits in the world aren't gonna help much if some jackass in a mini-van runs a stop sign doing 80, or a cyclist runs a red light, etc.
    Last edited by wordbird; 09-21-07 at 07:33 PM.

  13. #13
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wordbird View Post
    Helmet Head: sorry - i can understand why you posted your comments, and the quote from 'Cyclecraft'... i think i could have phrased my comments a little differently.

    the teenager who was killed in the crosswalk - he was IN the crosswalk when he was hit. my point is, that according to the traffic laws in this province, he SHOULD be in the crosswalk. dismount, and walk your bike through the crosswalk. which is exactly what he did, as far as i can tell. the offending motorist did not stop for the kid in the crosswalk, and in fact was speeding.

    you (and the author) are exactly right - there is a... perception as far as where we cyclists should and should not be. what our rights/responsibilities are, and so forth. we've all heard comments and remarks from motorists (while on the road, or in conversations) along the lines of "why don't you ride on the sidewalks?", or "there was an idiot cyclist taking up the whole lane in front of me",or "keep to the far right, assh**e!", or the like. when i ride, i position myself where it's safest and most efficient for me - for example, i try to avoid the extreme inside right-hand lane, unless i'm turning right myself. i try to behave as much as possible like any other vehicle on the road - i'm just skinnier, and slower, with two wheels, not four. if i'm riding in traffic, i go to where i need to be - if i'm turning left, i get in the left hand lane, etc. And really, i think that's how we should 'behave' on the road.


    however, the sort of motorist reactions that result from cycling aggressively and confidently (and properly, according to the law) make it pretty clear what THEY think we should be doing.

    i understand why you posted the quote that you did. my intention was not to suggest that a cyclist should simply kowtow to whatever a motorist thinks a cyclist should do.
    Okay. Understood. Glad that's clarified.

    Quote Originally Posted by wordbird View Post
    Things are further complicated by the fact that there are a ton of people, motorists and cyclists alike, who don't obey the rules. All the lights and reflectors and good safe habits in the world aren't gonna help much if some jackass in a mini-van runs a stop sign doing 80, or a cyclist runs a red light, etc.
    Good safe habits can help quite a bit to avoid "some jackass in a mini-van [who] runs a stop sign doing 80" if they include these best practices:
    1. Wait a few seconds after the light turns green before entering (to avoid the late-yellows)
    2. A car stopped at the stop line (blocking all runners within his lane behind him) is a good thing.
    3. A lane without a car stopped at the stop line is something to be wary of. Do not cross a lane until you can clear it by either establishing that a car is stopped at the stop line, or that there are no cars coming that might hit you if they run the red light.
    4. Beware of empty lanes obscured by blocked lanes.
    5. Establish the habit to ride further left than most cyclists ride (but about where most motorcyclists ride) in order to improve your sight line/angle and increase your safety buffer size. This makes it easier to clear a lane sooner.

  14. #14
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadCat View Post
    Oddly enough I was just cycling on that very route on Saturday. It's a pretty mean area for a cyclist to have to go to get out of the city.
    Cheers
    Especially between 1 am and 5 am ... when the hit and run occurred?

  15. #15
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I live in Edmonton and am a member and volunteer at the commuter's society... our president has been setting out the ghost bikes at the sites of the fatalities and there are few things more disturbing than rolling up to the shop's gate to see another ghost bike on the stand.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    I live in Edmonton and am a member and volunteer at the commuter's society... our president has been setting out the ghost bikes at the sites of the fatalities and there are few things more disturbing than rolling up to the shop's gate to see another ghost bike on the stand.
    Ghost bikes are an anathema to bicycling advocacy.

  17. #17
    Junior Member wordbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    Okay. Understood. Glad that's clarified.


    Good safe habits can help quite a bit to avoid "some jackass in a mini-van [who] runs a stop sign doing 80" if they include these best practices:
    1. Wait a few seconds after the light turns green before entering (to avoid the late-yellows)
    2. A car stopped at the stop line (blocking all runners within his lane behind him) is a good thing.
    3. A lane without a car stopped at the stop line is something to be wary of. Do not cross a lane until you can clear it by either establishing that a car is stopped at the stop line, or that there are no cars coming that might hit you if they run the red light.
    4. Beware of empty lanes obscured by blocked lanes.
    5. Establish the habit to ride further left than most cyclists ride (but about where most motorcyclists ride) in order to improve your sight line/angle and increase your safety buffer size. This makes it easier to clear a lane sooner.
    Helmet Head, you're "preaching to the choir"

    My 'jackass' crack was not really a specific example, but rather an attempt to illustrate the frustration and well, helplessness, i guess, of trying to deal with MOTORISTS who simply don't get it, or care not to, and what appears to be a decreasing lack of concern for enforcing existing rules of the road (here in Alberta). As much as i'd love to think they're are online forums much like THIS one, where motorists of all shapes and sizes can gather and discuss matters of safety and ways of improving their 'technique', sadly... I guess i wonder at what point to i get to start railing against a problem i perceive, after i've done all i can to do MY PART to help fix it, and it doesn't seem to be getting any better (in fact, worse).
    I've informed myself as to the rules of the road (available here:http://www.infratrans.gov.ab.ca/INFT...ndbook2006.pdf, and follow them as close as humanly possible. i take necessary precautions, ie. proper gear, clothing, equipment. I'm not riding under the 'influence' of an iPod, cellphone, or any other distraction. I'm alert, and my head is on a swivel. And yet, i'm still at the mercy of the guy or girl in whatever sort of vehicle i encounter next, and if they're preoccupied, distracted, or just as smart as a sock full of soup - i'm toast. I can't be looking everywhere all at once.

    Now, if it's my destiny to be taken out by a K-Car, so be it. i might be just as likely to be struck by lightning tomorrow, too. But in this city/province, there are TOO MANY close calls. too many (stop) signs not stopped at, crosswalks ignored, speed limits disregarded. And while i appreciate the fact that police forces, etc. are overworked and underpaid, i'm no longer confident that they are enforcing many of the rules written in the aforementioned Handbook. I wish there was more of a move to change the habits of motorists (not just those cyclists and pedestrians), and a move back to, well, doing it the right way. Like in the book. The book they give you when you learn how to drive in this province.

  18. #18
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    The ghost bikes have really been a visible sign to drivers that they are sharing the road with cyclists...I don't know if it was just me but during the last few days the drivers on the street seemed to have been extra considerate and cautious.

  19. #19
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    Ghost bikes are one of the somber anthems of bicycling advocacy.
    there, fixed that for you, head.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  20. #20
    Senior Member Pig_Chaser's Avatar
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    Good Lord, If cyclist slaying was a competition, I think Edmonton would be in the lead: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/edmonton/st...tal-cycle.html

  21. #21
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    Ghost bikes are an anathema to bicycling advocacy.
    Roadside memorials have been a hot topic in the local (AZ) news lately as ADOT has been taking them down 'for safety' ("The roadside memorials, ADOT says, are too much of a safety hazard and can be too distracting for motorists."

    Story:
    http://www.azcentral.com/news/articl...rials1006.html
    Opinion:
    http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepu...09tue2-09.html

    Al

  22. #22
    Senior Member Pig_Chaser's Avatar
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    Update:

    A Duffield man has been charged in connection with a hit and run in Edmonton that killed a cyclist three months ago.
    Edmonton police charged Casey John Earl Meads, 21, Monday with four criminal counts including criminal negligence causing death and failing to stop at the scene of a collision with a person.
    William Korol, 38, was riding his mountain bike on Sept. 15 when he was struck by a vehicle on Stony Plain Road and Anthony Henday Drive. He died at the scene.
    Police were looking for a red 1994 Dodge Ram with heavy damage to the front end or right side.
    Investigators said they arrested Meads, who lives in Duffield, east of Edmonton, based on extensive forensic evidence and witness testimony.
    Meads appeared in court Monday afternoon and was released on bail with conditions.

  23. #23
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Thanks PG.

    Since these accidents another rider was killed and we have gone out and placed yet another ghostly white bike at the scene.

    The most recent fatality involved a commuter who was run down by a drunk driver at roughly 6:30 am... the driver did not flee and will be facing criminal charges.

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